In “Early Awnings”, German artist Henning Bohl and American artist Sergei Tcherepnin combine sculptures, drawings, and sound into an immersive installation that imbues objects and imagery with fantastic forms and symbols to serve as a multidimensional platform for storytelling.
Grounded in feelings of malaise with the state of the world and invested in the creative exploration of vulnerability and fear, Bohl has created a series of fantasy illustrations that draw inspiration from the imagery evoked in the literary genres of Cosmic Horror and Fantasy of Manners and the visual language of related graphic novels.
As striking for their overwhelmingly yellow palette as for their fantastical imagery, Bohl’s drawings invoke the signature style of British author and illustrator Aubrey Beardsely (1872-1898), who, along with American writer Henry Harland (1861-1905) co-edited The Yellow Book (1894-97), a British arts and literary periodical associated with Aestheticism and Decadence that helped define the last decade of the 19th century as “The Yellow Nineties.”
Complementing the drawings is a series of fabricated metal awnings installed along the perimeter of the gallery. They serve as both framing devices for the drawings as well as projection devices for the sound installation developed with Tcherepnin.
In a sonic play of call and response, the awnings intermittently come alive with a different sound, forming and asserting their own “voices” from different points in space before disappearing again into the background.
Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display through September 5.